“Neither (conservative WOWO host) Pat Miller nor I talked about travel bans,” Banks said in an interview with the Capital Chronicle on Wednesday. “I never even heard of a travel ban until (I was accused of) one.”
During a Fort Wayne radio interview last week Miller praised the anti-abortion March for Life rally in Washington DC, telling Banks that the pro-life movement still had work to do because Hoosiers could still access the procedure by driving to Michigan or Illinois.
“The fight is far from over,” said Miller.
“That’s right,” Banks replied. “I’m for federal legislation, I’m for tougher state laws — whatever we can do to save lives, to protect babies. That’s what this battle is all about.”
This interaction, tweeted by Heartland Signal, caused a minor stir on the app, claiming that Banks was in favor of banning travel between Indiana and Illinois for those seeking reproductive health care. Heartland, part of the “progressive” Chicago channel WCPT, called Banks an extremist in another tweet.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, a Democrat, added his opinion to the uproar, say on Twitter, “The GOP’s plan to criminalize the most fundamental decisions a woman can make does not end with destroying Roe. The fight is far from over and Illinois stands ready to protect all women.”
Story continues after tweet.
The GOP’s plan to criminalize the most fundamental decisions a woman can make doesn’t stop at destroying Roe.
The fight is far from over and Illinois stands ready to protect all women. https://t.co/R7DUuKLY8C
— JB Pritzker (@JBPritzker) January 23, 2023
The Times of Northwest Indiana, based in Munster, wrote its own story describing the conversation, including Heartland’s tweet, with the initial headline “Republican nominee for U.S. Senate supports abortion travel ban for Hoosier women.” An updated headline for the story reads: “Hoosier US Senate Candidate Supports Cutting Abortion Options In Other States.”
Banks said Wednesday he would support a nationwide law banning abortion after heart activity is detected in a fetus, but called the “outrageous allegation” over travel bans “ridiculous.”
“My quote couldn’t be more clear: I am unashamedly pro-life and support laws that protect babies. I support a federal ban and I support the law Indiana passed,” Banks said. “There are arguments that Congress shouldn’t pass pro-life laws, but I support them because of states like Illinois that don’t have pro-life protections for babies or women.”
Banks announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate earlier this month, highlighting his conservative values and commitment to anti-abortion legislation.
Indiana’s near-total abortion ban has been suspended as the Indiana Supreme Court weighs the constitutionality of the ban — the court heard arguments last week and said an advisory opinion would be issued “in due time.”
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